After the seat of government moved from Williamsburg to Richmond in 1779, the city emerged as the “Metropolis of Virginia” and one of the most important cities in the early United States during this era.
The population increased from a few hundred people in 1782 to nearly 6,000 by the turn of the 19th century.
Begun in 1785, the canal eventually stretched 197 miles westward from Richmond to the town of Buchanan in the Allegheny Mountains.
The canal allowed boats to bypass the falls and bring agricultural and forest products from areas further west in Virginia providing employment for boatmen and assisting the growth of the iron, flour milling, and quarrying industries along the river.
The Richmond itinerary, the 46th in this ongoing series, is part of the Department of the Interior’s strategy to promote public awareness of history and encourage visits to historic places throughout the nation.
John Rolfe’s successful venture with tobacco in 1614 prompted settlers to travel westward, establishing large plantations along the James River that would utilize the rich soil of the region.
This explores the city and highlights 87 historic places listed in the National Register of Historic Places that together bring three centuries of history in Richmond to life.
The Richmond travel itinerary offers several ways to discover the city’s historic places: • Descriptions of each featured historic place on the List of Sites highlighting its significance, including color images and information on how to visit.
The town’s commercial activity and convenient location made it a fine site for a central government.
Advocates of this idea included Thomas Jefferson, who eventually helped design the .
Furs, tobacco, and other crops passed through Richmond for shipment across the Atlantic.